Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fresh


I want the lakes, oceans, gulf to be clean and productive when my granddaughter grows up. We need the salty waters for many reasons, both known and unkn0wn because we have no real idea how broad the impact will be if we continue to dirty them. And that's without putting a value on how darn beautiful they are. But even if we can't wrap our minds around the importance of salt water, surely we should understand how important fresh water is to all of us.

Only 2.7% of the water on earth is fresh, and the great lakes hold most of the fresh water in north america -- 84%. So there aren't too many options if we mess up the lakes. The polar caps used to be a treasure trove of fresh water, too, but now that humankind let them melt (oops), our lakes should seem even more precious. Instead, local rivers all over the country are carrying industrial waste, pesticides, fertilizer (lots of it from our green green lawns) and run-off from factory farms into our drinking water. There have been news reports of all kinds of trash, medical waste, corporate and household waste, on the beaches of Lake Michigan, where this photo was taken. There are pcbs in the canals of Lake Saint Clair, closer to my home. My city's lovely Memorial Beach has been closed over and over this summer because of E. coli from unknown sources. And all that in addition to the global warming problems that are expected to reduce the water levels in the lakes.

We are already deeply in debt to China and Japan to pay for 'foreign oil' -- after all, we use 80% of the earth's natural resources to support our lifestyles. Will we need to buy 'foreign water' next, because we've polluted and wasted the water we have here?

2 comments:

Tink *~*~* said...

We have similar water problems in Southwest Florida. Too many golf courses, too much emphasis on having a green lawn. Water runoff in rainy season contains excess amounts of nutrients. Once it hits the rivers and the bays and the Gulf of Mexico, it starts growing all the wrong things - namely, red drift algae and "red tide" algae, the latter of which is harmful to the human upper respiratory system. The former stinks up the beach and provides a slimy mess to walk upon. Many municipalities around here are now passing fertilizer laws, but I doubt they will be applicable to the golf courses... it'll be just the working stiffs that get to have a brown lawn!

Tink *~*~*
My Mobile Adventures *~*~*

gpc said...

Yes, golf courses are a huge problem (I hate to say that since my sister enjoys the game!) -- I live in a fantasy world: maybe someday they'll be able to trace the pollution back to specific locations and red tide will be a crime. Maybe someday a brown lawn will be a status symbol (I will be very hoity toity then!)

Meanwhile, the algae blooms are popping up everywhere. We have a type of bloom up here in the north. A friend recently visited Destin in northeast florida and found the same algae problem there, spoiling the beaches. It breaks my heart that we are losing the gulf, the beaches, the lakes, just so that we can have plastics and sugar and golf! It's been nice for people to 'have it all,' but we may soon need to choose between them and clean air and water.